Why Isolation is the Best Time to Add Retinol to Your Skincare Routine

I hope everyone is holding up in isolation! I feel like I am just getting to the point where I feel like I’ve almost developed a new routine which has been great for my mental health.

I have really focused on my skin through this isolation period mainly because I have zero excuse to wear makeup anymore. It has been so good to let my skin breathe and I’ve noticed such a difference in my breakouts and pore size.

It got me thinking of what other things I could be doing for my skin while I have no one around and no place to be! It can always be challenging adding a new skincare product into your routine with fear on how your skin might react. With no place to be, there has never been a better time to try all the skincare treatments.

If you aren’t currently using a retinol, let me get on my high horse real quick and talk about all the amazing benefits to retinol and why you should be using it at any age and regardless of your skincare type.

What is Retinol?

There are a million benefits of retinol and if you aren’t currently using a retinol in your routine, now is the time to start! Retinols, retinod, retin-A and tretinoin are all the same things just at different strengths. Tretinoin being the strongest and usually requires a prescription from a dermatologist. However, retinol is offered over the counter and you can find many versions at cosmetic stores.

There are many benefits to retinol the biggest being that it fights acne, reduces the look of wrinkles, stimulates collagen and promotes cell turnover so that your skin repairs itself faster giving you that youthful glow. (Sold yet? Sign me up!) Retinol is primarily made up of vitamin A and can lead you to younger looking skin by helping prevent and repair the signs of natural aging.

Why do I need it?

If you are in your 20s and your skin hasn’t started aging yet, this can help your skin maintain your youthful levels of collagen and will thank you once your skin does start to show signs of aging. If you are in your 20s and curious about anti-aging read my blog post here.

Now, I know not all of you are in your 20s and that’s great! Because if you are not in your 20s there is that more of a reason to add a retinol to your routine. This can significantly help reduce fine lines and wrinkles in more mature skin.


What will Retinol do to my skin?

If you have heard anything in the past about retinol it probably consisted of making skin peel which can be a reaction for new users. This is because it is promoting skin cell renewal and causing your skin turnover to happen at a faster rate. While your skin transitions to this faster pace, it can cause redness, peeling and flakiness. This typically goes away within a few days to weeks of repeated use.

How do I use Retinol?

When you add retinol to your routine, as mentioned above it can cause flakiness so you’ll want to start with a very small amount (I’m talking dime size people) and test a patch of your face for a day or two to see if you have any intense reactions. Peeling is to be expected and it is actually a sign that is working! There has never been a better time to wait the peeling period out with our current situation in isolation due to Covid-19.

Once you feel comfortable with how your patch reacted, begin adding retinol to your nightly routine and follow up with a good moisturizer. It is recommended to only use every other night for awhile while your skin adjusts! You’ll want to make sure to drink lots of water and be sure to wear sunscreen if you are outdoors. This is a must!! Your skin is more like to get sunburned when using retinol.

Ok, I’m sold. Now what?

I promise all the initial reactions that might happen when you start using retinol are worth it! I’ve been using it consistently since I was 15 and can use it daily without my skin feeling dry or ever flaking. You just have to get through that initial peeling period and it will get better! There are so many amazing benefits and you’ll be hooked once you see it for yourself!

I am linking a few of the retinols I have tried or heard great reviews about below. I am currently using the Obaji Tretinoin 0.1% which is the highest prescription strength offered. I primarily use this as a spot treatment and have been following up with the Inkey List Retinol serum. If you are currently using retinol and wanting to make the switch to tretinoin, you can read more about Obaji here, it is my favorite high end derm line and I’ve been using it my whole life.

I would not recommend the prescription strength if you are just starting out mainly because there are so many great over the counter retinols you can try first

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